By Jerry Williamson
Many people may have mix feelings -- when it comes to college football programs, who are extending middle school athletes across the country verbal offers, before playing a single down on varsity or better yet, taking their first class as freshman.
But, when it comes to South Florida athletes -- it appears to be an exception, based on the offers that have been extended over the years dating back to American Heritage Plantation 5star running back Sony Michel (UGA signee).
South Florida have witness over ten eighth-graders (mainly Miami-Dade County) in counting, start varsity, just in the past two seasons. The first eighth-grader in South Florida that was offered a verbal scholarship for the Class of 2021 was Doral Academy Preparatory (FL) eighth-grade wide receiver Khalil Brantley.
Brantley is a physical specimen -- standing 6-foot-2, 170-pounds, that holds an early offer from FlorIda Atlantic University and is receiving mail from both the Uni. of Miami (FL) and Purdue University.
As a seventh-grader, he captured the Pop Warner Div. 1 National Championship
on ESPN as the go-to wide receiver and Wildcat QB for Gwen Cherry Bulls, accounting for nine touchdowns on the season. He would later start at wide receiver for the Miami-Dade All-Stars
, hosted by the Miami Dolphins and made a Randy Moss like grab over a defender for a touchdown. In addition, Brantley, still a seventh-grader would start varsity and score against Oxbridge Academy (Spring Football Game
and tact on, five additional touchdowns, starting for Doral Academy Preparatory varsity 7v7 football team.
This past fall, Brantley found the end zone five times on varsity at wide receiver and delivered multiple big-hits at wide receiver, as an excellent blocker. He was selected once again as a Miami-Dade All-Star, and scored again (almost identically) at wide receiver and picked off a pass at defensive back, returning it nearly 50 yards.
Brantley plays for perhaps the No. 1 -- 15U 7v7 All-Star football team in the country, earning the title as the Southeastern Regional Champions. He hasn't been shut down this off-season and is making highlight reels out of cornerbacks inside of the red zone. He can separate, box you out or out-jump you, which makes him a challenge cover, especially if you're an undersized defender.
Brantley has the tools to become a Top 100 athlete in the country, when all is said and done. Brantley is pictured next to his cousin, Uni. of Miami first-team All-American LB Michael Pinckney, and made it know, the Canes is his dream school.